« I knew I was going to have it »

Undoubtedly the action of the year in basketball, Nicolas Batum’s masterful counter against the Slovenian Prepelic on August 5 had ensured the Blues, then beaten in the final, to return from the Tokyo Games with a medal. The French hero returns to this gesture this Monday in L’Equipe.

This counter came out of nowhere from Nicolas Batum on the Slovenian Klemen Prepelic a few seconds from the end of the semi-final of the Tokyo Games between the France team and Slovenia. This is obviously the action of the year in basketball. Even more with regard to French basketball. A rescue as impressive as it was decisive which ensured the Blues on August 5 to return from Japan with a medal around their neck. At the time, the French supporters still dreamed that this medal was in gold, the United States, winners in the final, had finally decided that it would be in silver only. A defeat on the last step which does not detract from this brilliant gesture succeeded by « Batman », unmasked avenger who had never deserved his nickname so much, and on which the French hero returns this Monday in the columns of The team, where the captain of the French selection ensures that he signed that day, a few seconds from the end of this semi-final against Luka Doncic and his teammates, « the most beautiful (action) of his career ». “It’s the most beautiful, obviously, because of when it’s done. It’s the storytelling that changes everything, ”admits the back of the Clippers, aware that he had just struck a big blow, but without immediately understanding that he had just written a page in the history of French basketball. That, he only realized afterwards.

Batum: « I knew I was going to have it »

“On the impact it had, I didn’t see it until after. With the reaction of my teammates, I realized that maybe I had done something special. Then I realized it even more afterwards, when the time passed. »Regarding the action itself, Batum believes that the hardest part was above all not to be sanctioned by the referee, and thus spoil everything. « If I try to counter towards him, there is a fault every day. Searching for the ball in space was my only chance. I would have had the balls that whistle. It would have been ugly. « And if everyone in the French camp, Vincent Collet the first, said to themselves that Prepelic was going to register this lay-up and at the same time eject the French team at the gates of the final, the one who would then put up the shot of his masterful counter in his son’s room swears he always knew he was going to prevent the Slovenian from scoring. “People might tell me I’m arrogant, but when I saw Prepelic leave, I knew very well that I was going to have him (…) I knew exactly what was going to happen. This action, Dallas also plays it at least twenty times per game. So I knew her. The action went around the world and allowed the Habs to get their best result at the Olympics for twenty years. As for Batum, he was logically elected best French basketball player of the year.

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